Healthier Diet May Reduce Risk of Diabetes & Heart Disease in Teens

Feb 17, 2016 04:20 AM EST | By Shilpa Chakravorty

Currently, the teenagers in the US are running the risk of a couple of health factors such as high cholesterol level and belly fat among other issues. However, the conditions are improving now. According to researchers, healthier diet might be the cause.

Severe metabolic syndromes, which includes a large waistline, high triglyceride level, and high blood pressure, increase the risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes among individuals.

According to a recent study, there have been marked changes in the two risk factors, namely a drop in blood fats named triglycerides and an increase in HDL cholesterol, according to Health Magazine.

Additionally, it was found in the study that there has been an increase in teen obesity over the study period of 13 years. The investigators found no changes in the average physical activity levels of teens during the staid period.

"While we don't know for sure why these improvements occurred, we saw that over time, children have eaten healthier diets, eating fewer calories overall, lesser carbohydrates, and more food with unsaturated fat," said study author Dr. Mark DeBoer, an associate professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric endocrinology at University of Virginia.

"This supports the important idea that changes to your lifestyle choices are the key to improving cardiovascular risk status," he added.

The study, which was published on Feb. 9 used data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey completed between 1999 and 2012. The research included data from over 50,000 teens aged between 12 to 19 years.

The results of the diet appeared over a period when the teens lowered their carbohydrate consumption and started adding more leafy vegetables and plant diet such as the Mediterranean diet.

"Our hope is that if these dietary trends continue, that there will eventually be a reversal of obesity as well," mentioned Dr. DeBoer.

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